Five UAA Grapplers to Compete in NCAA Wrestling Championships

Five UAA Grapplers to Compete in NCAA Wrestling Championships

Five UAA competitors will compete in the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships in La Crosse, Wisconsin on Friday and Saturday.


Senior Nathan Pike of NYU, who earned All-America honors with a second-place finish in last year's championship, is seeded second at 133 pounds this year. He finished second at the 2017 NCAA Division III East Region Championships, his third consecutive runner-up finish in the regional championship. His second-place finish at last year's NCAA championships was the highest ever by a NYU grappler.

The other seeded UAA wrestler is freshman Blaise Benderoth of NYU, who is seeded seventh at 184 pounds. He began the season at 165 pounds before moving up two weight classes and eventually took the 184-pound title at the East Region Championships. Benderoth became just the second NYU wrestler to qualify for nationals.

Jacob Donato of NYU qualified for the NCAA championships at 125 pounds for the second time after being unseeded at the regional meet. He defeated an opponent who defeated him twice this season, including in the opening round. The junior won five matches in the consolation bracket, recording two pins in the process, including one against the tournament's top-seeded wrestler.

Steve Bonsall of University of Chicago will compete at 157 pounds at the NCAA championship. In his first 157-pound consolation match after bowing out in the semifinals at the 2017 NCAA Division III Midwest Regional, Bonsall scored a 12-0 major decision to reach the third-place bout. In that match, he earned a 4-0 victory and a spot at nationals.

Senior John Messinger of NYU took third place at 174 pounds at the East Region Championships to earn a spot in the national championship. The championship appearance will be the second of Messinger's career.